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Baseball Card Of The Day: 1992 Robin Yount (Fleer) March 21, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Art, Baseball, Baseball Cards.
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Not sure what the graphic designers of this beauty were thinking. “Let’s give Robin a longer neck, and put him into a CONCEPT LANDSCAPE! I can SEE IT NOW!!!! A UNIVERSE OF BASEBALLS!!!! With Robin Yount, all-star shortstop, first ballot hall of famer, SURVEYING THE PLANETARY UNIVERSE OF BASEBALLS LIKE A HAPPY GREEK GOD…”

Seriously, wtf is up with this card?

I like the idea of surrealist influenced baseball card art, though. They should have done more of it, or hired Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and so forth to design their cards. Yount’s ’92 Fleer bizarro card reminds me of Dali’s Galatea with all those floating spheres, maybe a little of a Magritte sky of fluffy clouds.

Or just replace that green apple in front of the guy’s face with a baseball, perhaps.

Baseball cards would be a lot more interesting if they were done in styles of great artists and well known paintings. A team photo staged as Velazquez’ “Las Meninas.” Michaelangelo’s God giving life to Adam as one of those “Casey Teaches” type cards with Reggie Jackson in heaven with the ’77 Yanks touching Aaron Judge’s finger in Eden. Perhaps Clayton Kershaw could pose as the “Dodger Blue Boy.”

I’d start buying bubblegum packs again, for what that’s worth.



A Rainy Day Post March 21, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Art, General.
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What I assume will be the final big ol’ rainstorm for this rainy season in SoCal is underway. I’ll get about 5 inches where I live (which is what Stormy Daniels said, HIYO!) but some of those burn areas are gonna get a lot more, and mudslides loom. Ugh.

Earlier this year, I had my drains retrofitted and added a back-up drain line from low laying yard to street, one that would NOT pass through a rather invasive network of pepper tree roots. Last year’s version of this storm only lasted 1 day and not 2 like this one will, but it produced a small lake in my backyard that I do not want repeated. I look forward to my new system passing this test. Though being EXTRA PARANOID, I also have the back-up safety valve option of this pump ready to go, if somehow the roots previously clogging my gutter drains all grew back in the last couple of months.

My freeway drive in this mess won’t be as pleasant as Caillebotte’s pleasant stroll through Paris. I love how he gets the little puddles between the cobblestones, especially versus the shine on the sidewalk, and the overall cloudy/rainy day dullness of the colors.

Take five minutes, JUST FIVE LOUSY MINUTES, COME ON, DAMN YOU, and watch this:


It’s a lot less crowded than my drive home will be.

If A Threesome With Bea Arthur Is A Crime, We All Want To Be Guilty March 20, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in 1970s, Television.
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God’ll get you for that, Wagstaff.

This Hits Close To Home March 18, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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… but I can still do the friggin’ NYT Sunday puzzle in under 15 minutes.





My Sunday As An Addict March 18, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats, Writing.
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Since I lost my cat last June, I often have cat withdrawal and start jonesin’ big time for some cat petting and general must-pamper-kitty urges.

Get another cat, you say? Well, maybe, right before my long Summer vacation, perhaps. But part of me also enjoys not having the responsibility of taking care of the cat, having to be back home for wet food feeding at certain times, or a repeat of taking care of a sick cat, constantly. It was a lot of stress.

So, instead of remarrying, I found a local brothel.

A nearby pet supply place, where I used to buy cat litter, has a big fluffy black cat living in the store. You can usually find him sleeping on various cat trees, or just wandering around.

A branch of my bank and a Goodwill occupy other spots in the same shopping center, so whenever I have the slightest reason to go there, I make a point of going into the pet supply place and spending some quality time petting the black cat.

Today he was sleeping. Woke up for a second, I petted him, and he just went back to sleep. I never want to disturb a cat’s sleep, so I wandered around the store to see if he’d wake up in a few, but no dice.

Sigh. I left.

Then since it finally stopped raining, I went for a nice long walk to think about/work out some ideas kicking around in my head & notebooks for Wagstaff 3. I get my best ideas on these multi-mile walks through the neighborhood, and it’s a no-shit-sherlock that the exercise is good for me. Get them triglycerides down AND figure out how to make my usual layer upon layer of idiotic pop culture plot actually turn out to make sense.

And as I walked by a house, I saw a little brown tiger cat!

Perhaps this was my KARMIC MAKEUP for not being able to pet the black one.

After all, I usually never see cats outside in my neighborhood. I actually don’t WANT to, since I live in an area where coyotes freely roam after-hours, and any cat left outdoors most often winds up listed as missing on Nextdoor or on posted flyers, and it’s more than obvious that Wile E. Cat-eating-fucker had a big dinner.

I called to the brown tiger cat. He took notice, but was skittish.

I knelt down to make myself less threatening, and called him over.

He trotted right over to me. Started to lean forward to smell my hand, and then suddenly changed his mind. Ran back towards the SUV in the driveway, then turned back to check on me.

I called him over again and made purring sounds.

He thought about it a moment, and then trotted back to his original spot, watching me.

Calling him over again didn’t work. He got bored and went into his backyard.

Nobody loves me.

I think I’ll jot down some after-walk notes about the book and drown my sorrows in some pasta & wine for dinner.

Pasta ALWAYS loves me.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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It’s green.

Now THAT’S How To Bust A Bracket March 16, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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I had Virginia winning it all in the pool I entered.

A #1 has NEVER lost to a #16 in the opening round in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THIS THING.

…. until I picked one to win.

You’re welcome, history! Anytime!


Well…. not until it stops raining, anyway. Then I might try betting Santa Anita. I haven’t lost enough money lately.

I need to practice with my drill thrall.

Get Out Of The Car, Cut Off Your Slauson March 16, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General, Television.
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An Artist For A Friday: Raoul Dufy March 16, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Art.
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“Venice 1923” by Raoul Dufy

Dufy (1877-1953) was a wonderful painter of bright and colorful scenes. Go to different sites and see how he’s categorized in all sorts of different ways since he mixes styles and doesn’t go through set time periods where he concentrates on any one, a la Picasso. He mixes elements of Post-Impressionism with Fauvism and Cubism, along with tell-tale influences of other artists like Monet, Matisse, and Pissarro.

Look at those those trees in the Venice painting and you’ll see the Van Gogh in him.  I love the universe depicted in his Venice. I love how the buildings appear stacked upon each other in false perspective, the way a Medieval town would be depicted in a Medieval painting before true mathematical linear perspective was developed.  Only the colors wouldn’t be so bright and lively. I love the simple wavy lines of the clouds, something I’d expect in a watercolor by a 2nd grader. And I love the feel of it all, a depiction of Venice from the outside, emphasizing ground and trees and greenery and buildings, instead of what we always see and always expect – canals, bridges and gondolas. The only hint of a canal here bends around the city, as a border of sorts – and it’s in the distance.

I want to go there right now and eat pasta and drink wine and pet Italian cats. Thanks, Raoul.

He’s got lots more to show you, too. Enjoy.

I Want This Channel Back March 15, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Movies, Television.
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Every Saturday afternoon from the old Channel 56 outta Boston.

Amazing how many clips in that montage I immediately recognize, and how many are from films I’ve seen. Gawd.